Karl Marks Scooter
The Los Angeles Times leads with, and others front, the ranking Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee ordering Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers to take a do-over on her recently submitted questionnaire. The senators were particularly miffed about the skimpy job Miers did on the questions about conflicts of interest as well as constitutional issues. Miers must provide "amplification on many, many of the items," said committee Chair Arlen Specter.
Citing Karl Rove's lawy... sorry ... "a source familiar with Rove's account," the Washington Post'slead says Karl Rove told the Plame grand jury that it may have been the vice president's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, who first told him Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. Rove reportedly said that the conversation took place a few days before Plame was publicly outed, and allegedly—now this is, what, thrice-removed—Libby initially heard about Plame from a reporter. The Wall Street Journal world-wide newsbox and New York Timeslead with the first day of Saddam's trial, where the former dictator refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court but eventually took the opportunity to plead not guilty. Then acceding to pleas from defense attorneys for more preparation time, the judge adjourned until late November. USA Todayleads with two federally financed studies confirming that a drug already used to treat some types of advanced breast cancer also seems to be effective against an aggressive type of early breast cancer.
The import of the Rove leak isn't clear. One obvious possibility: Rove's lawyer is trying to save his client's tush. As the WP mentions, the Associated Press had this leak-of-the-day first; both pieces note that Rove has apparently previously testified that he couldn't remember who first told him about Plame. His recollection was apparently jogged after being "shown testimony from Libby."
The WP's Rove piece is more than a simple leak-and-print. It's a helpful primer on the whole affair.
The NYT's John Burns picks up a few glitches yesterday at Saddam's trial, like the fact that the microphones for Saddam, other defendants, and their lawyers "appeared not to function."
Only the NYT devotes a staff piece to the news that 26 Iraqis, five GIs, and one British soldier were killed in assorted attacks "late Tuesday and Wednesday." Also, a British reporter for the Guardian was kidnapped in Baghdad.
Miers said she was happy to give the questionnaire another try; she also added that she forgot to mention that her Texas law license was suspended for about a month years ago because of ... "an administrative oversight," purportedly by her former law firm. Miers has already acknowledged that her D.C. law license was also briefly suspended because she forgot to pay some dues.
The LAT has some serious sniping from senators who had getting-to-know-you sessions with Miers: "Some described her as surprisingly reticent and, in a word used by more than one of them, 'underwhelming.' " After chatting with her a bit, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions offered some of the strongest support seen yet for her. "I might have liked a different type nominee myself, but that's the president's choice," he said.
Finally, the WP notices another high-quality response from Miers' questionnaire:
In describing one matter on the Dallas City Council, Miers referred to "the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause" as it relates to the Voting Rights Act.
"There is no proportional representation requirement in the Equal Protection Clause," said Cass R. Sunstein, a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago.
Eric Umansky, previously the "Today's Papers" columnist for Slate, is currently a Gordon Grey Fellow at Columbia University's School of Journalism.